Well, if you aren’t new to this site or any other site that I contribute content to, you will know that I am a big fan of screencasts. They offer the ability to create motion picture screenshots with audio. Your voice, mouse clicks, and screen are recorded so that you can show people precisely what it is you are doing in an attempt to get them to do the same. There are a multitude of purposes for screencasts, I want to discuss one in particualr here today.

Normally, the decision to create a screencast for me stems from wanting to teach someone a skill. This would be a skill that they themselves want to learn as well. But I decided to use them recently for calls to action as well. It’s one thing to ask someone to do something, it’s quite another to show them what you mean.

Note: In the video I mention that I am not compensated by *this* – by that I mean… I am not making money promoting Screencast-o-matic from this video. Not that that would be a bad thing if I was, just wanted to be transparent.

Screencast Use for Calls to Actions

A couple of days ago I recorded a quick screencast because I wanted to boost the interaction on one of my newest Facebook pages. Again, if you are no stranger to my content, you will know there is often double or more value in my contributions. So, I’d like to explain beyond the obvious why interaction and engagement is important on Facebook. Then I will get into what I did in the screencast, and the effect of doing so.

It’s one thing to get someone to “like” your Facebook page. Those that like the page might see your posts in their timeline or newsfeed, whatever it’s being called these days. The emphasis is on the word might. You see, you could have 5k page likes and only 25 people see your post. Why? It’s likely because those 25 people were looking at their timeline in the precise place the post was dropped in at the time you published it.

The real estate in timelines is ultra competitive.

Well, if there is no interaction or engagement with the post it quickly dies. It falls away. “Likes” on the post are OK but likes require very little effort and people like the heck out of everything. So that *almost* doesn’t even qualify as engagement. You want people commenting on and sharing that content. That’s the beginning of virality. Also, that puts that particular post on the radar of the Facebook robots whcih will in turn give the post more time to shine in the newsfeeds.

So, in my screencast I explained the value of comments and shares, and asked them to do so more often. I explained that I appreciate the “likes” but that the comments and shares would really help bring the message to more people. Then I explained how they could invite their friends to the page, how to embed some of the posts into their own blogs and web sites, and how they can contribute to the page with their own stuff.

A funny thing happened. People started to engage. In fact, that post went semi-viral itself! Some commented about how they did not know how to do some of that prior to watching the video. Some admitted they didn’t know the value. Many shared that post.

This in turn shot the page up to over 1500 fans in a couple days (starting from scratch) and having very few “friends” of my own on Facebook. In addition, there are posts that have upwards to 25,000 views and more!

How to Get Started with Screencasts

OK, as you can see, screencasts have value for tutorials, tech support, enhanced calls to action and more. But how do you get started? Well, it’s simple really. I didn’t buy any extra equipment (in the beginning, I have since purchased a $100 mic). I started with the built-in mic on my laptop, and occasionally I would use the goosneck mic if my kids hadn’t ran off with it.

Beyond that, all that is needed is some great software. I have tried a few and by far my favourite is Screencast-o-matic.com. The editing tools are great and it only costs $15 each year. Try it for yourself to see. You can play with the free version but if you get serious with screencasts you will quickly buy a subscription.

Alright, get out there and do your enhanced calls to action. And if you are doing them for Facebook like I did, skip YouTube and use Facebook to host the video. That will give that post more traction out of the gate 😉 Oh yeah, I just did that. I dropped a gold nugget in the final paragraph. That’s how I do.